Laguna #5

Back from the Laguna Invitational, it was the 13th year but my 5th time doing it. That place is so friggin beautiful that the hard part is choosing what to paint. Several artists handled things as they do, differently. Some just chose one location to paint, like Heisler Park which is chock full of amazing rocks, water and views of the coast and Laguna Beach looking south. Me I chased down everything, drove all over, looked here and there. One day a canyon, the next a boat and a scene of breaking waves on the rocks. Once again I made several mistakes, one being that I decided to just buy my panels there since I didn't have time to order or make my own. Problem was that the art store that said they had plenty of everything, didn't. So I had a mix of linen panels, cotton canvas panels and gessoed masonite, even borrowed a few Raymar claussens panels from a friend. Having a mix like that is just dopey. Each surface reacts differently so that in addition to changing scenes each day I'm painting on different surfaces each tme. Perhaps to make it even more of a challenge I should have gotten a unicycle to ride while I painted. But I muddled through. pilgrim 16x20

The one smart thing I did was ordering all of my frames from king of frame which is right there. Now that's a heck of a place. If you live nearby and are looking for frames they got em. And they have a line of custom carved 22 karat gold leaf frames that are pretty affordable, that is if you sell the painting they are sitting on. But I didn't get those, I got a less expensive black model that I liked until I saw the more expensive ones. Never happy.

guiding light 11x14

And the never happy thing goes for the painting too. I am just never satisfied. I did a couple of nice ones according to the other artists but after seeing what others put in (I'll post those later) I just went on my usual slide into the well of sorrows. This year Ray Roberts won best of show, though not for the one I would have picked. He did a whole series of 20x24's plus some small foggy day studies that were to-die-for. And to make matters worse a bunch of use went down to San Diego to see an exhibit of Sorolla paintings that just ruined my day, though kind of in a good way. It's sort of like finally getting to base camp at Everest, rejoicing in it, then looking up to see what's still left to do.

as the world turns

Not that I'm complaining. The weather was perfect, the location was awesome, the people were just wonderful. My friends, my wonderful painter friends. And my host family and their house..... OY! Great people, house right on the beach. A glass of wine in the eve to watch the sun sink below the ridge of Catalina Island, yes please. Waking up every morning to a view of the ocean and breaking waves, don't mind if I do.

canyon row 9x12

The one redeeming thing (Okay I am happy with the boat painting and the palm) I did was have the clever idea of naming as many of the paintings after soap operas as I could come up with. Days of our lives, Guiding light, As the world turns... I could only come up with a few but since I didn't sell any of them, I'm going to reuse the idea. There are a lot of good ones on the list I just googled; Paradise Bay, Love of live, Ocean Ave, Golden windows... the list goes on, it's a treasure trove I tell you. The other thing is I get to trade a paintingwith Bryan Mark Taylor. Great guy, great painter. I'm amassing quite the collection here. That rocks.

Crystal light 16x20

Unfortunately, sales were not there for me, which does affect my mindset. It shouldn't but, hey, it is a business. That's the risk involved in doing this sort of thing. There's no paycheck and you really need to have the stomach for it, or a trust fund or maybe a spouse with money or a lucky lottery ticket or have been smart enough to buy gold in 2008. But the other benefits.... priceless. Besides, they will sell eventually. I managed to sell everything I did in Curacao, after the fact. You never know.

days of our lives 11x14

Like sands in the hourglass, so are the days of our lives.

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